As announced Wednesday, turnout figures for Venezuela’s Sunday election were manipulated by at least 1 million votes.
This information comes from Smartmatic, a company that has been working with Venezuela on its voting system since 2004.
“We know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated,” said Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica. “We estimate the difference between the actual participation and the one announced by authorities is at least once million votes.”
President Nicolas Maduro’s government claims over 8 million people voted in support of a constituent assembly that would be tasked with rewriting the constitution in such a way as to formulize a one-party communist state and to extend and strengthen Maduro’s power.
There are three reasons why this is not possible.
1. The consensus among analysts is that less than 4 million people showed up to vote.
2. Recent polls show that up to 85% of Venezuelans were against the assembly.
3. Maduro is very unpopular among voters.
Maduro was elected in 2013. By 2015, his party had lost 2 million voters. The most recent polls put Maduro’s approval rating below 20%.
During the past two years, Venezuela has spiraled into economic collapse. With severe food and medicine shortages and triple-digit inflation, Venezuela’s economy is currently ranked “worst in the world.”
On top of that is an authoritarian government that rejects the will of Congress and represses protests by killing and jailing participants. Such chaos has only contributed to drug trafficking and violent crime.
In other words, there is no way in hell the people of Venezuela would have voted to support Maduro’s constituent assembly.
Maduro and his cronies know they have lost all public support. They also know they need the constituent assembly to avoid being kicked out of office.
Unfortunately, this sort of behavior is what we have come to expect from Venezuela’s corrupt government.
Without help from international organizations, “the constituent assembly will quickly become all-powerful,” warns The Hill.
The US has responded to the fraudulent election by slapping sanctions on Maduro for “seizing absolute power” over the people of Venezuela.
“We’ll never know the extent of the fraud because internationally-recognized election observers were not allowed into the country to monitor the voting, and reporters were kept at a distance from polling sites,” reports The Hill.
Editor’s note: It is not often that you witness a country collapsing into anarchy. But that is what is happening now in Venezuela.